Tooth & Claw
Peter Cairns & Mark Hamblin
Predators in Britain mean different things to different people. For some, they are a spectacle of the natural world and key to the ecological integrity of our countryside. For others, they are nothing more than an inconvenience, a financial drain on rural businesses. Love them or loathe them, few of us remain indifferent - from those who live and work in the countryside to those who escape there from the noise and pollution of our cities. So how do we really feel about Britain's predators and how are those feelings influenced by culture, myth and economics?
These are the questions that are explored by the authors; they have spoken with those who influence predator management - farmers, landowners, conservationists, researchers, field sports enthusiasts, tourism operators - in fact anyone with an interest in the countryside.
"Tooth & Claw" is a ground-breaking photo-documentary project providing a meeting place between anecdotal evidence and scientific fact, thus nurturing a better understanding of natural predator-prey mechanisms and encouraging empathy with different points of view. Discussions over fox hunting, bird of prey poisoning and even the return of wolves are brought to life. We learn how entrenched opinion has turned some predators into political symbols, pawns in battles between different socio-economic or special interest groups. Such divisive debate often ignores biological fact and the animal itself becomes lost in the political melee. Managing predators in Britain today is really about managing people's perceptions - what they believe, what they value and how they interact with nature. "Tooth & Claw" ultimately asks questions of ourselves: it exposes our fears, our prejudices, our inconsistencies. We are reminded of our place in nature - as the most powerful predator of all. 240 pages.
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